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Life Arts

Dharma Bumming Around

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Headlined to H3 9/21/09
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Originally this columnist intended to write something with "The Week the Truth Became Irrelevant" as the headline, but then we decided to put that column off until later and do a "clear old items off the desk" type column. Wasn't that a ploy used by Stan Delaplane?

Jack Kerouac, in his novel The Dharma Bums, brings up the concept of Zen Lunatics and that, in turn, leads us to ask: If Sam Spade (Is this column going to have San Francisco as a connecting narrative?) was called a "knight errant," could a practitioner of the gonzo style journalism be called a "clown errant"?

That was Zen, this is now. Has anyone written a column pointing out that when Ho Chi Minh city was being established, the fact that the North Vietnamese were mostly Buddhists and not into revenge and that fact might make a difference and the quick end to the war in Vietnam might not be relevant to a discussion of a possible withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan because revenge is a major factor in Muslim culture and it seems that dozens and dozens of civilians may have been harmed in those two areas of American military activity? If not, we'll put writing such a column on the "to do" list.

Also on our "to do" list is visiting Burritt Alley. Would any city other than San Francisco put up a historic plaque in the place where a fictional event probably occurred? They do the CYA shuffle by saying: "On Approximately This Spot, Miles Archer, Partner Of Sam Spade, Was Done In By Brigid O'Shaughnessy."

Is it unrealistic to expect President Obama to include a stop on San Francisco's Russian Hill to solicit votes from the socialists there?

If you close your eyes and listen to Scott McKenzie, doesn't his voice sound remarkably like Jim Morrison's? Didn't Bobby Bare record as "Bill Parsons" before he went country? Say, you don't suppose . . .?

Isn't it odd that there isn't much on-line about the original Mr. San Francisco, Freddie Francisco (AKA Bob Patterson)? When one of the San Francisco newspapers fired him for faking Nixon era dispatches from China, the guy's termination was mentioned in Newsweek. Information found on-line indicates the famous columnist http://www.sunpopblue.com/Frisco-Tales/shell.html>;slit his wrists in a bathtub, which gives this very much alive columnist the perfect opportunity to insert the Mark Twain line about "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated." It's just one of those "same name" coincidences.

Here's some SF history for Mike Savage. One of the reasons that a large gay community accumulated in "Baghdad by the Bay" was because during WWII, when men in the Pacific theater of operations would be court marshaled for homosexuality, the service would muster them out in San Francisco and many were reluctant to face the shame that returning to their home town would mean, so they elected to stay in the more gay-tolerant city in Northern California.

Speaking of dirty laundry, according to http://www.tfdutch.com, the first commercial laundry in the US opened on September 19, 1849, in Oakland CA.

Harry Bridges has been quoted as saying: "There will always be a place for us somewhere, somehow, as long as we see to it that working people fight for everything they have, everything they hope to get, for dignity, equality, democracy, to oppose war and to bring to the world a better life."

One of Herb Caen's best lines is: "A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew."

Now, the disk jockey will do his David Letterman imitation by playing his top ten San Francisco Songs.
"If You're Going to San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie
"I Left My Heart in San Francisco," (Dean Martin's version)
"Nothing Else, Ma." Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra
"Omaha" by Moby Grape
"Flower in the Sun" by Big Brother and the Holding Company
"Truckin'" by the Grateful Dead
"Jingo" by Santana
"What About Me" by the Quicksilver Messenger Service
"Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" by Country Joe and the Fish
(Big finish - you know what to do when this song peaks)
"White Rabbit" by the Jefferson Airplane.

We have to go look for a Beatnik coffee house. Have a "far out, man!" type week.

 

BP graduated from college in the mid sixties (at the bottom of the class?) He told his draft board that Vietnam could be won without his participation. He is still appologizing for that mistake. He received his fist photo lesson from a future (more...)
 
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